Let Me Go When the Banter Stops:
A Doctor's Fight for the Love of her Life
Let Me Go When the Banter Stops tells the true love story of Seattle physician Dr. Linda Gromko, who finds herself in a midlife romance, only to discover that her future will hold new beginnings, but also the pain of letting go. Dovetailing on her earlier memoir, Complications: A Doctor's Love Story, Dr. Gromko's new book revisits the early days with her future husband, Steve Williams, a self-made business executive and consummate networker - and his feisty nine-year-old daughter, Brita. Their challenges include a whirlwind of family dynamics, the relative remoteness of Bainbridge Island to Seattle, but most significantly, Steve's precipitous fall into end-stage kidney failure.
The ensuing story - painful at times, but always heartfelt and grounded in humor, takes unimaginable turns of good fortune, frustration, and resilient perseverance, revealing the contempory medical profession at its best and worst.
Written from both a doctor's professional persepective and a caregiver's personal point of view, Let Me Go When the BanterStops presents a firsthand testament to overcoming adversity, as this scrappy little family faces kidney transplant, cardiac complications, and surgery after surgery. This poignant memoir plumbs the depths of heartache and sorrow, yet ultimately resonates triumphant as Dr. Gromko and her new daughter Brita discover a shared courage to prevail after devastating loss. Let Me Go When the Banter Stops is a powerful story of the unthinkable realities of disease and the unfathomable capacity of human endurance and advocacy, bearing witness to the sustaining lessons that love reveals in the most unexpected ways.
Book Club discussion questions included, by reader request.
Released May, 2012.
A Doctor's Love Story
Dr. Gromko's true story begins with the implausible inheritance she receives from a former patient.
Completely unexpected, the windfall jolts her life, which is already out-of-balance with the demands of her profession. She reshuffles her life's priorities and finally gives in to her need to seek a life partner once and for all.
Browsing on the Internet, the Seattle doctor advertises, "I'd like to meet a nice Democrat." She finds Steve, a businessman who is "gifted at banter, irreverently funny, and loyal as a beagle."
While Steve brings joy, he also brings unforeseen complications into the doctor's life. For one thing, Steve has full custody of nine-year-old daughter Brita, who greets the doctor with "I hate every centimeter of you—get used to it!"
Then, there is the more serious issue of Steve's health. Known to have diabetes and high blood pressure, Steve falls precipitously into the abyss of kidney failure. Without a kidney transplant or dialysis, Steve will die within one to two weeks.
Written from a doctor's perspective, the book takes the reader on a tumultuous course of medical and personal trials, as Dr. Gromko exerts the most powerful advocacy of her life.
Released August, 2009.